The Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee has submitted its report, suggesting reforms and sweeping changes in the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The most significant recommendations made by the committee include bringing the BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, legalising betting, and barring ministers and government servants from holding office in the BCCI.
"The first thing committee did on reforms was preparation of questionnaire that comprised 8 different heads and 135 questions on diverse aspects concerning administration. They were circulated to office bearers and other stake holders, journalists, writers, lawyers, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High courts, past national players, coaches and various state association heads," Justice Lodha said in his media address after submitting his report to the SC.
"The first thing is structure and constitution. Presently BCCI has 34 members, some of these members do not have any territories, like the Services. Some of these states have multiple members like Maharashtra has three, Gujarat has three, earlier Andhra Pradesh had two (but now separate after the formation of Telangana). [After] The interactions we had....it was broadly represented to us that one state as a unit to represent BCCI is a fair idea. We examined other sports laws also and their Constitution," Justice Lodha said at the top of his address.
"In our recommendations we have gone by the concept that one association of each state will be a full [BCCI] member and have a right to vote," he added.
On the formation of a players' association, Justice Lodha made it clear that it will not be a players' union.
"We have proposed constitution of players' association. That association will include all internationals and most of the players who have played first-class cricket, both men and women, and who have retired from competitive cricket. This association will be constituted and run with the financial support of the BCCI; however, they will not act as a union. The idea is to give players voice, use their expertise and skill for the development and betterment of the game," he said.
He then explained how the BCCI and IPL will be de-linked and run by two different bodies, though the IPL Governing Council will remain answerable to the BCCI.
"On the professional management, that will conduct day to day management, the Apex Council (that will comprise the CEO, cricket committees and umpire committee) will be answerable to the [BCCI] General Body [and] all its decision will be laid before the General Body. The other half, as I told you as regards to IPL, the chief governing body will be known as Governing Council, which again will comprise of nine members."
The report also stressed upon the involvement of cricketers for the game's development and growth.
"Cricketing matters will be handled by cricketers alone. Cricketing matters comprise of selection, coaching, team performance, evaluation, etc. Non-cricketing matters will be handled by the CEO, assisted by his managers and guided by two committees - the senior tournament committee and Tours and Fixtures committee. Both committees will comprise five members each," he said.
Towards the end of his address, Justice Lodha made one of the most significant suggestions.
"We have suggested to the legislature for legalising betting with in-built mechanism and ensuring that players, match officials, team officials...will not be entitled to indulge in betting."
Some of the key points made by the Lodha Committee include:
* Bringing the BCCI under the RTI Act
* Legalising betting with in-built mechanism
* Barring ministers or government servants from holding any office in the BCCI
* De-linking the BCCI and IPL.
* Cricketing matters to be handled by cricketers only, including selection of teams and coaching